Thursday, October 13, 2016

Painted Floors

I got the keys for my new place today, and after a thoughtful conversation with the maintenance man and complex manager, I got them to agree to leave the unit without carpet in the main entertaining spaces. Let it be known that I don't really have a problem with a beautiful wall-to-wall rug. I think that they're great when they're great. But, when you're faced with low quality, low pile, acrylic wall-to-wall, it's very different.

I've been lucky enough in all of my apartments after CDLV to either have gorgeous hardwoods, or the option of putting down my own floor. I figured that I would choose the same flooring that I currently have for the new place, however, now that I have the keys and have taken a look at the subfloor, I'm 97% convinced that painted floors is the way to go.

William Rankin McLure is a designer in Birmingham. His instagram page is one that I check EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. He's a wonderful artist of modern art, and has an incredible eye for display and vignettes. When he first saw the apartment, it looked like this:


He ripped up that wall to wall acrylic mess as soon as he got in. William lives in a large house that was built in 1906, that has since been turned into 4 apartments. The floors (likely to prevent noise issues) were carpeted. Under the carpet however, was that typical orange toned floor you see in nearly every antique home. His first decision was to stain the floors this darker walnut.


Just a few nights later, floors all finished with seagrass matting down over them and furniture in place. It was much nicer than the orange hue, for sure. 



When William moved his way into the bedroom, he had already made a decision to paint these floors white. Here you can see the original carpet. Low pile, acrylic. Blehck! So he took it all up, and put down the paint: 


Meanwhile, the living room was all finished up (for the moment), with the beautiful darker stained floors that he did when he first pulled up the carpet in there: 


Once he finished those bedroom floors though, well ... there's no denying, it was a brilliant decision: 


Right? I mean, it's gorgeous. It didn't take long before William decided that white floors were the way to go in the living room, too! 


He painted out the old black and white asbestos tile in the kitchen, too: 


Now, let me preface what I'm about to say with this: I don't know William. I think I've shared possibly 3 remarks with him on instagram, and he emailed me once to thank me for the post that I did about him on the blog, here. That's my extent on really "knowing" him. But in the age of the celebrity, I really feel like he and I have a lot in common. I absolutely love his aesthetic, and his zest for change is beautiful, and contagious! Every time I see him doing something new, I'm inspired and invigorated for change in my own place. William rolls up his sleeves and gets it done, and isn't afraid to make bold changes - even when later he decides it wasn't the right way to go, like when he painted the living room red: 


When he painted the walls red, he also painted the seagrass matting with alternating blue stripes, and added a double navy border to the white floors. It didn't stay this way long, and after painted the seagrass matting, he chose not to use it when the space went back to white. 


Of course, as I mentioned, William is an artist. He's also impulsive, and makes changes when the mood strikes. So it's not a surprise that his apartment sometimes looks like this: 


My own apartment looks like this everyday. Not really, but still - it happens when you have your hands in lots of projects. The beauty of white floors: 


Instantly touched up! William is actually moving next week, into a large loft with concrete floors that are already painted white. It will be so interesting to see what he does with that space. But real quick before I move on, let's look at the latest pics of his current place: 



The bedroom ended up with rich, black walls and a canopy bed. Beautiful, isn't it? 


The living room ended up with alternating striped floors. Taupe and chocolate brown over the white. That's his dog, Baylor on the couch! Like I said, this guy is extremely talented. If you have instagram, make sure you follow him there, and if you don't, you can link up on your computer or device with this link. I can't wait to see what he's going to do with his loft space: 


Now, speaking of lofts and painted floors. Another floor I've been inspired by, and another designer I've long admired, the loft of designer Vicente Wolf: 


His New York City loft space has had white floors for longer than I can recall, and they've always been inspiring. 


I don't think that he's ever chosen to use anything more than cowhides to cover up his white floors. When I knew that I was going to be moving, I purchased large seagrass rugs for the main living spaces. While they aren't custom, they are large enough to cover most of the exposed floor, so if I do paint my floors white, they will look different. Much more similar to these: 


Megan, from BeachBungalow8 blog, painted the floors of her living room white. They had looked liked this: 


It certainly makes a space feel brighter doesn't it? Maybe a bit more calm? Not as much contrast, so there's more attention to the other pieces in the space - like upholstery, drapery, that sort of thing. 

Nate Berkus did white floors with large rugs in this space: 


Just a little peek-a-boo of white. It's quite lovely, don't you think? The cost to paint a floor is much less of course, than to refloor an apartment as large as mine. So, as I work on this post, collecting inspiration to show my point of view - it's also important that I share the budget with you. $0. That's the budget. Anything that I spend in this apartment will be more than I want to spend, so obviously, it's a consideration. 

When painting a floor, what kind of paint do you use? I mean, most of the real traffic is going to occur on the rugs - but I still want a paint that won't peel, and will cover up the existing 8x8 tile. Just FYI, there are no grout lines. These things are put down with glue, like old VCT. The Nester used Valspar Porch and Floor Paint, over a coat of KILZ primer for her laundry room/mudroom: 


So here's the question: what paint do you use? And more over, is the sealer more important than the paint? Should you even seal it? I mean, if you then have to paint to touch up, do you have to reseal the entire floor? I'd love to get your thoughts on this!